Definitions for: Prevaricate

[v] be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information

Webster (1913) Definition: Pre*var"i*cate, v. i. [imp. & p. p.
Prevaricated; p. pr. & vb. n. Prevaricating.] [L.
praevaricatus, p. p. of praevaricari to walk crookedly, to
collude; prae before + varicare to straddle, fr. varicus
straddling, varus bent. See Varicose.]
1. To shift or turn from one side to the other, from the
direct course, or from truth; to speak with equivocation;
to shuffle; to quibble; as, he prevaricates in his

He prevaricates with his own understanding. --South.

2. (Civil Law) To collude, as where an informer colludes with
the defendant, and makes a sham prosecution.

3. (Eng. Law) To undertake a thing falsely and deceitfully,
with the purpose of defeating or destroying it.

Syn: To evade; equivocate; quibble; shuffle.

Usage: Prevaricate, Evade, Equivocate. One who evades a
question ostensibly answers it, but really turns aside
to some other point. He who equivocate uses words
which have a double meaning, so that in one sense he
can claim to have said the truth, though he does in
fact deceive, and intends to do it. He who
prevaricates talks all round the question, hoping to
``dodge'' it, and disclose nothing.

Pre*var"i*cate, v. t.
To evade by a quibble; to transgress; to pervert. [Obs.]
--Jer. Taylor.

Synonyms: equivocate, palter, tergiversate

See Also: misinform, mislead

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